Covid-19

We are here to help you through the current situation.

Day to Day Operations during this time.

Please read the below information carefully so you can understand the changes we have temporarily had to make in the way we service our clients.

WhiteStar Office is operating as per normal however it is closed to visitors at this time:

Our office is closed to the public effective immediately however we have now finalised phone management so the remaining staff have now commenced working from home. A team member will be in our office daily and reception is open remotely.

All our services are set up for remote working to still provide you with our promised service. We have been testing this for several weeks and our team are on top of it and ready to help you.

Due to intermittent phone congestion the lines are occasionally dropping out or going quiet. If you know the person you wish to speak with you are more than welcome to email directly or live chat is also available from the hours of 9.30 am – 7 pm Monday to Friday.

It is business as usual in regards to our service to you however there are some delays from time to time due to working remotely as well as the lenders delays. We kindly ask you to be as prompt as possible with sending in documentation so our team can be as efficient as possible for you.

Take control of your financial future. Act now!

A really tough time for our community and economy. Some people find it embarrassing or difficult to discuss that they are concerned and worried about the financial future.  Many people are just hoping that things will get better and they’ll be okay. We hope that this is true.

However, we really want everyone to be as prepared as possible to face things getting harder before they get better.

In regards to your finances, we urge you to evaluate your current repayments and cash flow. We would like to help you review your options as a matter of priority to see if you are in a position to improve the current rate, consolidate debts or cash out for a buffer to use. The major lenders have all announced interest rate changes and support measures for mortgage customers.

You may be a landlord that is concerned about your tenants being unable to pay rent, you may be self-employed where your business is unable to trade to its full capacity or you may lose hours in the coming months. To prepare for the coming months WhiteStar is working tirelessly to help you create a financial buffer and /or improve your cash flow by reducing repayments.

Majority of the lenders are still following most of the same credit guidelines as before with some smaller lenders possibly tightening their credit rules already. We do not know what the future holds in this very difficult time; however, we urge everyone to be prepared.

If you are able to obtain a buffer and improve cash flow now, we suggest you do it urgently as we do not know if something changes we may be unable to assist with a refinance, debt consolidation or increase for a buffer. Whatever the case may be, the sooner you talk to us, the sooner we can understand your situation and see if we can help you to be prepared to face more disruptions in personal or financial circumstances.

Contact us to get started!

COVID-19 Lender List

If you have already suffered financially due to loss of income please contact your lender as soon as possible as they will assist you as best they can during any time of hardship.

Below is the link that lists our lenders and their policies during this COVID-19 crisis. We recommend if you are suffering financially and you are unable to look at refinancing to obtain a buffer and you feel that you will get into hardship please contact the lender as early as possible. Ideally, before you miss payments. Work out a support structure with your lender.

Changes to Property Management

Lease Renewals
For all tenancies that are on periodic agreements or have leases ending between now and 31 July 2020, we will be sending out lease renewal information in the coming weeks.

Regarding lease renewal enquiries, if you would like to know when your tenants’ current lease ends, please send me an email at pm@whitestar.com.au and I will reply with your lease dates.
We realise it is an uncertain time and we want to work with you to help provide your tenants with some certainty of their home arrangements as soon as we can.
 
Please start to consider now what you intend to do so that we can speed up lease renewals as we work through them. Please note; Due to the unknown of this pandemic, I would strongly advise against serving any rent increases right now.

Smoke Alarm Testing
We have identified properties which require testing to be completed in the next 45 days and have arranged for them to be undertaken ASAP to make sure your properties remain compliant with legislation.

The company we use has provided us with a COVID-19 Action Plan. Click below to download the action plan for you to review.

COVID-19 Impact on Open for Inspections
The Government announced that all Open for Inspections are now banned. We will still be able to host virtual property tours and private inspections for now.

We have started capturing our vacant properties via a tour and have a good response from prospective tenants. We are using these services to ensure that your property can be inspected to avoid a vacancy period.

If we need to host private inspections, please be aware that we will liaise directly with your current tenants (if tenanted) to identify a suitable time and we will work to minimise risk to them and any potential tenants.

Rental Payments:
We are continuing to understand how we will manage tenancies that fall into financial hardship in this difficult time. It is still expected that the Government will provide further information regarding relief for rental payments. As of yesterday, Sunday the 29th of March 2020, the Prime Minister has announced a moratorium on evictions of both commercial and residential tenants for a period of 6 months. However, it is vitally important to note that there was no mention that rents were to be either reduced or forgiven, this means that if your tenant is only able to pay a reduced amount over the next 6 months they will have to make up the difference once life returns to normal.

We will be seeking further clarification on the details of this announcement, consequently this information may change in the coming days, but I thought it was important to provide the information we currently have.

While we understand that it is a stressful time for many, we have asked all tenants to continue to make regular payments. For those tenants who have lost income, we have requested they communicate with us as quickly as possible so we can talk to you about their circumstances and work together through these unusual times.

We have provided them with contact information from the RTA and Centrelink for discussing their options.

Our approach to letting a property will now be:

  • We will require a Rental Application submitted prior to any inspection of the property
  • The Application must be pre-approved by you before we arrange a viewing
  • We will contact your current tenant (if currently tenanted) to arrange the inspection

At the inspection, we will:

  • Increase availability of hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes for the inspection
  • Limit the inspection time inside the property
  • Maintain social distancing requirements

If the prospective tenant who is pre-approved does not proceed with renting your property, we will withdraw the application and let you know.

COVID-19 Impact on Routine Inspections
We are trying our best to still conduct routine inspections that are due while respecting your tenants wishes and practising all safety measures and social distancing. We are working on identifying the best technologies for video routines and hope to be able to offer these as soon as we can. As video inspections are not part of our current Legislation if we could please ask for written consent from you, the owner of the property that you are happy to accept your report with a video attachment to ensure we are compliant should we need to make a claim through insurance at a later date. Please send this written consent to pm@whitestar.com.au

Rent Relief and Mortgage Relief
The Prime Minister has yet to make an announcement regarding payment relief for mortgages. Until an announcement is made, we highly recommend that before you consider relief, talk to your bank. At this point in time, you may still accrue interest on your mortgages if you obtain a deferment. If you’re unsure financially or would like some extra support our finance team are continuing to work through this period, you can give the office a call on 1300 652 842 and your call will be diverted through to the appropriate team.

Working as a Team
Our highest priority is the health and well being of our communities.

We will provide additional information when we have further direction from the Government. We look forward to working together to support you through this uncertain time and please remember we are here to help you.

If you would like anything above clarified or we can help you in any way please contact us at pm@whitestar.com.au

Due to heavy traffic on telco’s, there are difficulties at times connecting to us. If you experience this, please email the team member directly or alternatively email info@whitestar.com.au and we shall organise a call back as soon as possible. Live chat is also available from 9 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday.

We apologise for the delays and issues during this stressful time. We are doing everything we can to be available to your enquiries. Stay safe.